Even if you believe it threatens your cat, curiosity is empowering. Actually, take it from a cat. Have you ever seen a cat that trusts your judgment more than its own?
Curiosity leads to greater knowledge.
Knowledge is powerful. Curiosity doesn’t have to lead you so deeply into a single field that you become an expert for it to be beneficial.
Perhaps you become an expert generalist. In the process you may recognize that you have learned the key to marketing to many diverse groups. That’s a valuable skill for every industry.
General knowledge can also equip you to understand the broad effects of policy or the interplay between multiple groups affected by urban planning. You don’t have to know how to wire a motor to understand the importance of the power it provides.
Curiosity can calm a restless mind.
My mind processes many things in rapid succession. It’s like free association in there all day long every day. That makes it tempting to be out of my chair more than I should be. But give me a computer problem, and I will sit for hours trying to puzzle through a diagnosis without realizing how much time has passed.
I’m so curious, I wind up in a concentration zone. And usually, I’m successful at piecing together a solution.
One way to gain power over restless thoughts is to get curious about a problem that needs to be solved. The time spent exploring, learning, and turning around the options will serve to focus your attention and calm the mind.
Curiosity can improve relationships.
Showing genuine interest in another’s life, interests, and feelings can build closeness and trust.
In the midst of an angry or hurtful exchange, becoming curious can give perspective and improve empathy. When you become curious rather than getting sucked into rage, frustration, or sadness, new insights may emerge that help you process the moment in a healthier, more productive way.
Knowing you can move in and out of a situation by using curiosity is a great tool and a powerful feeling.
Curiosity can help you forgive.
If you look back at the worst thing you’ve ever thought, done, or felt from a point of curiosity, it is easier to feel empathy for yourself. A shift happens when you ask, “I wonder why” rather than “how could I have?”
Wondering why is an exploration that can lead to insight. How could I have is an exploration that leads to blame. It’s a tiny shift in semantics and attitude, but it can have a tremendously positive effect, making it easier to forgive yourself. Once you’ve done that, it’s easier to forgive others.
Curiosity trumps denial.
Everyone lives in denial at some point. It rarely serves any of us well.
If you are ill, becoming curious about your diagnosis can help you forge a path that fits your priorities. Remaining in denial will leave you at the mercy of others’ recommendations and decisions.
If you remain in toxic relationships while denying that they’re toxic, you will never find resolution or improvement. Becoming curious about what you can do to help the situation can lead to behavioral changes that either help the situation or clarify that it should end.
When you feel you’re becoming overly stressed, using curiosity to determine how to reduce stressors can improve the quality of each day. It seems ironic that we have a tendency to run from problems rather than face them and ask, hmmm, I wonder why I feel that way; I wonder why that bothers me so much; I wonder how he feels when I say ______? Why avoid when just a tiny bit of curiosity can feel so empowering?
With so many benefits, I can’t think of a reason not to be curious!